About the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)
Making good decisions is one of the most important things we can do; our organizations' survival and success and our own well-being depend on our decision-making ability. The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) is a structured method for helping people deal with complex decisions. It provides a comprehensive and rational framework for structuring a problem, for representing and quantifying its elements, for relating those elements to overall goals, and for evaluating alternative courses of actions.
Rather than prescribing a "correct" decision, the AHP helps people to determine the one based on mathematics and human psychology, it was developed by Thomas L. Saaty at the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania, USA in the 1970s and has been extensively studied and refined since then. It is used throughout the world in a wide variety of decision making situations, in the fields such as government, business, industry, healthcare, and education. Its most general framework called the Analytic Network Process (ANP) applies to decision making with dependence and feedback and with benefits, opportunities, costs and risks synthesized using strategic criteria with sensitivity applied in determining the stability of the outcome.
The AHP/ANP use core mathematics to derive priorities by making comparisons using the idea of dominance both for criteria, subcriteria and alternatives. It is validated in practice when actual measurements exist or when answers can be derived probabilistically. Thousands of applications around the world have been made using the AHP, not only by researchers but by practitioners as well, particularly those who allocate resources to projects, to vendors, and to military operations. Dozens of books have been written on the subject along with more than five thousand published articles in a diversity of languages.